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Husband and wife receive community order after benefit scam
10:35am Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A HUSBAND and wife falsely claimed thousands of pounds in benefits after failing to tell the authorities they were living together.
Jamie Smith, 29 and his 27-year-old wife, Natalie, of Stourport, did not tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Wyre Forest District Council about changes to their circumstances, Kidderminster Magistrates Court heard.
The couple, of Broomy Close, were both sentenced to a 12-month community punishment order for falsely claiming almost £16,000 in benefits.
Mrs Smith pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to tell the authorities her husband was living with her, while Mr Smth also pleaded guilty.
The court heard he had not notified the district council he had moved in with his wife and continued to make a claim for housing benefit from another address.
At an earlier court appearance Mr Smith also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to tell DWP he was working and continued to claim incapacity benefit.
As a result, between April 26, 2011 and July 23, 2012, Mrs Smith was paid £3,972 in income support.
She was also given £5,657 in housing and council tax benefit between July 25, 2011 to August 5, 2012.
Meanwhile, Mr Smith received incapacity benefit from August 4, 2011 to May 5, 2012 amounting to £2,433 and housing benefit of £3,872 from May 2 2011 to April 15, last year.
Mrs Smith was ordered to complete 135 hours of unpaid work and her husband, 100 hours. They were also both ordered to pay £100 costs.
The overpaid benefit will also have to be re-paid to the district council and DWP.